Heritage Hall Proposed To Honor Maui’s Portuguese & Puerto Rican Immigrants

October 25, 2009, 5:00 AM HST · Updated October 25, 9:53 AM
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A cultural and community complex is proposed for construction on more than a half acre of land in Paia.  The Heritage Hall project would serve as a multi-purpose community center and office complex, honoring the history and culture of Portuguese and Puerto Rican immigrants to Maui.

Word of the planned project first surfaced in 2003 when A&B offered the parcel for the development under a partnership between the Maui Puerto Rican Association and the Portuguese Association of Maui.

Archival photograph of Paia Dispensary Facility provided by D. Heafey, HC&S & published in the State of Hawaii’s Environmental Notice in report filed by Munekiyo & Hiraga, Inc.

Archival photograph of Paia Dispensary Facility provided by D. Heafey, HC&S & published in the State of Hawaii’s Environmental Notice in report filed by Munekiyo & Hiraga, Inc.

The subject parcel is located on land along Baldwin Avenue just mauka of the Lower Hamakuapoko Road near the former Paia Mill, Paia Post office and Paia Train Depot sites.  The project site is currently vacant, however there are remnants of the foundation and walls from the former Paia Dispensary, which was located at the project site.

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The project consists of two separate structures totaling approximately 5,596 square feet. The structures would house a social hall, kitchen, cultural resource center, and related amenities. The facility would also include approximately 1,025 square feet of space that can be leased to a public or non-profit organization serving the Paia area.

The two groups plan to offer assistance with genealogical research and translations as well as demonstrations at the site.  Proposed activities include demonstrations on the making of pasteles, dancing plenas and meringues from Puerto Rico, learning the Portuguese chamarrita (dance from the Azores), and baking bread in an outdoor stone oven.  The activities, along with Portuguese and Spanish language classes, are currently being provided to the community by the partner organizations.

Heritage Hall is also proposed to provide space for meetings, and various other community activities.

Estimated construction cost of the project is in the $4.5 million range.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information provided courtesy the State of Hawaii and Munekiyo & Hiraga, Inc.; Archival photograph of Paia Dispensary Facility provided by D. Heafey, HC&S & published in the State of Hawaii’s Environmental Notice)

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